Innovative field trials in Afghanistan's war zones could be yielding technologies to provide more reliable and greener power for ICT infrastructures in remote areas and in emergency response situations.
Photo courtesy U.S. Marine Corps
According to Pike Research, "capital investment in energy-efficient network equipment will reach $122 billion by 2014, representing 46% of the total network infrastructure market...The opportunity is largest for mobile network operators, which we expect will represent almost two-thirds of the green telecom market. This focus is especially relevant as mobile operators deploy 4G networks at scale over the next few years."
While much of the green computer focus worldwide is on laptops, UK companies are doing interesting things with desktops.
Aleutia offers low-power units that "are designed to easily connect to solar power and work in remote places." Case studies include Africa and Central Asia.
VeryPC promotes its Broadleaf desktop as "categorised as ‘Class Leader’ by DEFRA Quick Wins", "BFR, PVC and halogen free in line with ECMA-370, the environmental standard", "the only desktop PC to be endorsed by the Energy Saving Trust Recommended scheme". (More about Green ICT product standards in Europe.)
The Green Electronics Council launched an international EPEAT purchasing registry which "enables the world’s leading electronics manufacturers to list ‘green’ computers and monitors in over 41 countries across the globe." The registry is revealing about the distribution of EPEAT product availability.
The 20 most populous countries comprise about half of the world's population. Yet 18 of these lie outside of what is generally perceived as the North American/Western Europe Green ICT nexus. These nations aspire to rapidly build out their ICT infrastructures. Nigeria, for example, already has GSM networks connecting ~50 million phones; over 130 radio and television broadcasters; domestic communications networks utilizing satellites, coastal submarine cable, land fiber, and microwave relays; and international connectivity via satellites and submarine cable.
These countries' ICT build-outs will have a significant future impact on global energy, carbon, and e-waste. Yet we hear very little about GreenICT challenges or progress in these countries. Go to our Global Green page to see what we've learned and to contribute by posting information about these countries.
The 18 countries, listed left-to-right in order of descending population, are:
Widespread computer use in developing countries runs right into power consumption and resource issues, so Vertatique follows developments in this area with keen interest. UK organization Computer Aid recently completed testing of low-power computers with ZDNet-UK and three African Universities.
The One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) initiative represents the cutting, if not controversial, edge of green e-device design. The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) has published an interview with OLPC's CTO Mary Lou Jepsen, which is a insightful must-read for anyone interested is sustainable e-device design.